Monday, February 26, 2007

Forget the slobs

I recently found out a new co-worker of mine has been working on a drama/thriller novel for several years now. I was delighted to discover this and asked him to share some of his work with me.

He wouldn't.

Why? Because he was frightened.

Fear is a normal reaction for budding authors, but when I found out why this guy was afraid, I wanted to scream.

He has no support system. He tells me his friends think his writing is silly, his parents think it's a waste of time, and his wife say it's stupid.

I had to grit my teeth to stop sharp comments about his family. Instead, I suggested he take a few creative writing/short story courses at our local university. At least it would allow him to get some feedback.

Having seen none of his work, I can't judge for myself his level of talent, but he's been a newspaper editor for about 20 years and he says he has studied the elements of a novel and how to write fiction. I have to guess he at least has some skill, even if it's in early stages.

All said and done, I told him not to worry about his family, to push ahead with his dream, and to "forget about the slobs."

"What are 'the slobs?'" he asked.

My answer: "The slobs are the ones who waste their lives in front of a television while belittling the ambition of anyone wanting to do something besides wasting away in front of a television."

I won't go into a long diatribe about the evils of television, because I too enjoy it from time to time.

But the truth of the matter is this: Television kills writers. Worse, it kills readers.

Don't let it destroy you. And don't let others with no ambition get away with destroying your dreams. Even if you spend your whole life trying to be a novelist, and you NEVER get anything published, and least you TRIED. Which is more than can be said for millions of others who are glued to a TV or computer screen for long, boring years of their lives.


Anonymous said...

Awesome advice, Ty. No need to worry about what the imagination-impaired think of your work.

-- Steve

Howard von Darkmoor said...

NICE! Here I am, reading along and nodding my head in agreement with you, Ty; then you whap me up side the head with the "Which is more than can be said for millions of others who are glued to a TV or computer screen for long, boring years of their lives."

That was when my eyes glazed over however, and I woke up to find this comment posted on your site.

Ty said...

Hey, von darkmoor, I had to be glued to a screen to type it in. :-)

snicker, snicker